Title

Empathizing with mHealth App Users in Application Design: Early-Stage Persona Development through Social Media Data Mining

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

The pervasiveness of mobile technologies has led to the paradigm known as mHealth. Research has shown that mHealth is useful for self-management of chronic conditions but is plagued by usability issues. Design approaches such as Design Thinking advise the use of “personas” to represent real users and aid the design of user-centered and empathy-oriented mHealth applications. The current study develops three representative personas that could inform the development of a diabetes-management mobile application using about 1.35 million social media posts that represent about 40.81% of diabetes-related conversations on Twitter. This study demonstrates that social media could be useful in human-centered design approaches by analyzing posts that offer differing perspectives on diabetes care. Further, the study shows that the characteristics of social media-inspired personas can also influence the choice of behavior theory and techniques for mHealth applications.

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